Even after reaching the landmark age of 60, I find myself noticing that I still can’t get past needing education. In fact, I learn new things frequently. I’m not talking about technology, but understanding life, God, people and priorities. There are life lessons I should have learned before or “learned” but didn’t apply. At times I’ve needed a reminder of what I already knew. And occasionally, I wasn’t ready for the lesson until it came. Other lessons were delayed due to my stubbornness.
In my experience, lessons may come little by little over a long season, or through one short but challenging experience. One of my daughters once participated in a speech competition. I can’t recall what she titled her speech, but the proverb she repeated sticks with me, “Experience is the best teacher because the test comes before the lesson”.
If you’ve read much of our material on dreams, you may have noticed that we feel that a significant number of dreams may come from our creator. How else can some be prophetic? How else can they predict the future or provide us supernatural insight about others?
When I wake up from a dream about being in school, I first consider that God may have set up a situation in my life which I can and should learn from. In fact, my comprehension of something may be the entire purpose of that situation (or at least a designed positive byproduct).
I could describe half a dozen dreams of being in college. So far, the experiences which followed were significant or even heavy- like witnessing my father die. But I’ve learned not to assume that what’s coming will be difficult or painful, because sometimes it’s just the opposite, like birth or healing.
In this dream, I was in high school. Since I have a college degree in real life, I knew what would be coming wouldn’t be as difficult as college. It could, however, have to do with something I should have learned before, but didn’t fully assimilate. And since I didn’t find myself in “elementary” school in the dream, I was relieved to know that I wasn’t on a course to learn something extremely foundational or elementary which I should have learned years ago.
Because high school is such a distinct social season of life, perhaps the dream was related to social immaturity or being accepted by peers.
The dream included some other details and classic themes. Here it is:
I stood before a door with a large purse/bag which I was reorganizing. When I entered, I found myself on the first day of high school. I was registered with a full schedule. My paperwork showed that my elective was art, but I didn’t feel good about taking that class knowing I wasn’t good at it. I thought PE (physical education) would be a better choice. (In real life, I would have felt the opposite without question.)
In addition to my decision to change that elective, I looked through my pages at the list the classes, but was unable to find when and where the classes were scheduled. As the other students scurried down the halls with the bell about to ring, I was felt pressure. Yes, a LOST and LATE scenario.
I awoke, journaled my dream, and went on with my day finishing the sewing of a baby blanket for my “special” WILLIAM’S SYNDROME granddaughter of 7, putting together a salad for a US Presidential Debate gathering, praying over the site of the debate (about a mile from our home), and we headed over to my daughter’s house. Since she and her husband were moving, we had to begin removing the plethora of our boxes from her basement.
I was fully aware that I myself would have to retrieve each and every box from the bottom of that flight of stairs to the driveway while my husband (currently awaiting hip surgery) stood by the car with a walker cheering me on. “No problem,” I thought, as I began the task.
After half a dozen trips‒ one box at a time because they were so heavy‒ I decided to take inventory. What were all of these boxes filled with? Keepsakes, books, educational resources and toys for grandkids, business files, sheet music, keepsake music record albums, cassette tapes, video tapes… 10 stacks/6 tall of boxes. And that was just what was against the north wall!
Realizing there were very few boxes that were light enough to couple with another, I continued to toil one box at a time. But to say that I began to feel overwhelmed would be an understatement! I would have to deal with all of this primarily by myself. Almost all of them obnoxiously heavy, and I was hot.
What was worse was that just two and a half years earlier, I had already sorted through our stuff and determined that the boxes I was facing were necessary.
Where would I begin… plant myself in her basement and go through it all again right there? That would take days! Suffer the exertion to move it all before sorting it again in my garage? And since we recently moved to a small residence, where would I put it all?
Then I experienced a flashback of the dream and I began to sense its message. Just as in the dream: I WAS REORGANIZING MY BAG, I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN; I WAS TAKING PE; and I NEEDED TO LOSE THE ART.
The other thing that stood out from the dream was that God apparently sees this situation less as a task and more as school. So what am I supposed to be learning, I thought, that I should have already learned? I guess the answer is staring me in the face.
But as I climbed those stairs, it didn’t seem so simple. After being raised by parents who grew up without running water, indoor toilets, or other basics; I learned in childhood to hold on to things. Combine that with my own needy seasons, my sentimentality, and the fact that our growing family now consists of 19 members.
As I pondered this, letting go of a significant portion of what I just recently sorted seemed tougher than an observer might think. What exactly would I toss? And how long would it take me to make all those decisions?
And what did art mean? The last time art was in a dream, my daughter was instructed to take her paintings with her when leaving her job (she doesn’t paint). It was prophetic and fulfilled when she took up quilting again, starting a BLOG, and ended up teaching over 100,000 students on-line to QUILT!
But, except for a few keepsakes, my boxes don’t contain much of anything that can be considered art. Overnight that answer became clearer. I thought of the dining table in my home which is necessary to eat from, but the centerpiece optional. The wall nearby is needed to separate the ding room from the hall, but the wall-hangings are optional. The piano in the corner is needed to play music, but the flowers on the top of it are optional. I see. The art in my home are the items I can do without!
So what God is telling me is even more clear: THOUGH I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN; I WAS TAKING PE CLASS; and I NEEDED TO LOSE WHAT I COULD DO WITHOUT.
All this is easy to talk about, but may not be so easy to do. That’s why my creator let me know that for me, this is school; that through this little challenge, I need to learn something, really learn it. And that something will affect my future …
More boxes to deal with tomorrow. I surely can lighten the load because life is not about things anyway.
Oct. 5, 2012
P.S. Would you believe that while getting started the first day with sorting the items in the boxes, I ran into the speech with the proverb about the value of experience? What are the chances? That’s confirmation to really get this concept. Your thoughts?